What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is made of dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds from the Cannabis plant. Many people think that because marijuana is natural it cannot be bad for them, but marijuana actually has hundreds of chemicals in it that could negatively effect your body in many ways.
Marijuana's Effects on the Brain & Body
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Yes! Over time, marijuana can change the way your brain works. If you stop using marijuana, your body can get confused and you can start to feel sick, making it hard to stop using. This is addiction. Anyone can become addicted to marijuana. There is no way to predict who is likely to become addicted.
While there are no reports of people dying when using marijuana alone, people can feel some very uncomfortable side effects. There are reports of marijuana users seeking treatment in emergency rooms, with reports of unease and shaking, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and in rare cases, extreme psychotic reactions. Marijuana use can also increase risk for accidents and injuries.
The risk of being in a car accident doubles after using marijuana. Marijuana affects skills required for safe driving including, alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time, so it is not safe to drive while under the influence of marijuana or with someone who has been using marijuana. Marijuana makes it hard to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road. Combining marijuana with drinking even a small amount of alcohol greatly increases driving danger, more than either drug alone.
10 Facts About Marijuana
1. Marijuana use interferes with attention, motivation, memory, and learning. When used heavily during the teen years, it can lower grades and your IQ.
2. Exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke rarely results in a contact high.
3. Serving sizes for marijuana edibles are confusing--it's easy to eat much more than a person means to, with bad side effects.
4. Marijuana doesn't make you more creative, it just makes you think you are.
5. Marijuana can make dogs ill, causing serious medical issues such as injury, dehydration, anxiety, lethargy, impaired balance, vomiting, or diarrhea. A few dogs have even died from eating it.
6. Drugged driving is dangerous, illegal, and happening more and more. The risk of being in an accident doubles after marijuana use.
7. Over three-quarters of students surveyed in the "Monitoring the Future" study said they disapproved of people using marijuana regularly.
8. Spice, also known as K2, is not fake marijuana. In fact, some effects of Spice are much more intense than those of marijuana and have been linked to deaths.
9. A small number of medications that contain THC are approved by the FDA. They are used for treating nausea and appetite problems caused by cancer chemotherapy and AIDS. Marijuana's other chemical, cannabidiol or CBD, is also being studied for potential medical uses, including treatment for seizures.
10. Ancient healers used cannabis in religious ceremonies, not as a party drug.
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National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.